No problem, glad you found it useful. As a sidenote, its often referred to as "entailed" property in literature, especially when Agatha Christie is explaining the motive for the murder of a lord by his long lost father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.
Also I agree with you completely about the dangers of copyright subjecting our cultural life to a feudal tyrant.
Its a good point. Although, there is a parallel in the history of real property law - the "fee tail".
The fee tail was a real property interest held over from feudal times that was used to essentially keep land in the hands of an aristocratic family in order to maintain the irdynasty. The way it did this was to severely restrict what property rights one could transfer - each heir had a life estate, and on their death title would automatically pass to the next lineal heir of the original grantor. So the most you could sell was the right to use the property until you died.
The result was locking large swaths of land into an unproductive feudal/agrarian paradigm. For that reason, this was never implemented in the US to my knowledge and it's abolishment in Britain was an important reform. Basically, we've realized that for property rights to function effectively in a market economy, there have to be limitations on what you can control after you've transferred something to someone else.
One of the major problems with "intellectual property" is that there are very few checks on it comparable to those that evolved for real and personal property (adverse possession is another great example).
Indeed. The problem was not dropping out, it was conflict of interest. It looks like what really raised his hackles was the faculty and administrative involvement. It is one thing to encourage entrepreneurship and to allow for flexibility in leaving and returning after founding a business. It is another thing entirely when authority figures at the university personally profit from their charges.
"I think you're wrong: the source of the restriction is the contract between the library and the company doing the digitization."
So then what stops you just from copying the digital copy made by the company? There's no privity/contractual obligation between you and either the BnF or the company, (contracts can't create obligations for persons who aren't parties to them), so you're not in breach of their agreement.
Conceivably, they could have an EULA to access the digitized documents, but even if that were effective for people directly accessing the documents, anyone they provide the copies to would not be subject to its terms.
"The issue is the rule that it can't be made available online by any other means."
That is what I was referring to - the right to exclude other uses of the work. The basis of that kind of right is copyright. So without copyright, how can they transfer the right to exclude? I don't understand how it was a valid transaction.
The question that comes to mind is what exactly was licensed (for lack of a better word). If these works are no longer under copyright, there are no rights to transfer to the private company. In other words, how can BnF sell what it doesn't have?
First, the view of individual founders is irrelevant when talking about the actions of a legislative body as a whole. The motives of each delegate at the Constitutional convention in voting for the the constitution does nothing to change the specific language they voted for.
Second, the moral rights legal doctrine applies to the right to attribution and the right to protect the integrity of the work. Meaning an artist has moral rights in preventing the alteration or defacement of their creation. There is no economic component to moral rights in this sense.
If by moral rights he simply means natural law, well, then to say the founders adherents to natural law/social contract theory is basically restating common knowledge. If you are asserting that patents (and intellectual property) are an inevitable outgrowth of the labor theory of property, since Locke position was that property is created by the mixture of labor and nature (i.e., natural resources), this argument is interesting, but a bit of a stretch. Certainly not something to just throw out as an aside and take as a given
I think what they mean is that there is no demand for 1 Gbps service at the rate they want to charge. Since they charge around $30-$40/month for speeds that top out at 20 Mbps, this would be $1500-$2000/month.
So no, there is probably very little demand for a $2000 a month internet plan. A 1 Gbps plan in a market with actual competition however...
First, I'm not clear that posting a document of public interest wouldn't qualify as fair use. It seems like it might. The use of quotes vs the whole document goes to one of the four factors in a fair use analysis, the amount of work copied.
Second, even if she did sue, what are her damages? I doubt it was registered, so no statutory damages are available. Proving actual damages would be fairly difficult since there really aren't any; she's not selling the proposal in bookstores and she's already sold the book
"Take for example open fields and forests in not very densily populated areas. Letting people roam freely on other people's property in such cases give very few problems and lots of advantages"
I'm not sure freely allowing wanderers is non-rivalrous in the same way copyright is. Allowing that kind of use is incompatible with other types of uses, such as farming, whether or not there is actually an attempt to use the land in that manner. By contrast, there is no way to infringe a copyright in a way that reduces or excludes the use of the copyrighted material by others.
Even if you assume, for the sake of argument, that copyright is property, it still doesn't follow at all that it is required for a free market. All property rights consist of legally enforceable entitlement to control the property in various ways. A free market involves the unrestricted ability to sell and buy various rights which already exist by virtue of the decision by society/the state to legally enforce them.
The willingness to enforce some of these rights doesn't imply anything about other rights. We could theoretically say that your property rights in land allow you to kill and eat trespassers, but we don't. Therefore homebody cannibalism is not a property right because we decide, for moral reasons, that it should not be. Similarly, we decided that people cannot be owned as property for moral reasons. There is no argument based on how we actually treat property rights which weighs for or against deciding that particular rights, like copyright, should be recognized property rights.
Glancing at the court docs, it looks like their complaint is based on a theory of reliance (i.e., PeopleBrowsr reasonably relied on Twitter's representations). Sounds like a bit of a longshot, but on its face it doesn't seem frivolous if the allegations are true (Twitter made statements publicly and privately to PeopleBrowsr that the platform would be kept open and the termination provision would only be used if PeopleBrowsr misbehaved).
"an "engineered blood substitute" to draw them away from humans (also useful for regions plagued by vampires, presumably.)"
Actually, if Daybreakers, Blade: Trinity the BBC miniseries Ultraviolet are any clue, the lack of this blood substitute is the only thing standing between us and the vampires who would kill us all if only they didn't need something to eat.
So really maybe we should encourage Myhrvold to do even more patent trolling, if only to distract him from initiating the vampire apocalypse.
I think the difference is that copyright is a statutorily granted right to prevent others from copying, while a license is a contract which gives you permission to copy. I think the analogy would be that if you own your house you can pass it on to your children, but if you rent you can only do it if the lease allows that. License agreements can survive death, they just aren't drafted to include these provisions b/c content owners haven't needed to.
Its not a constitutional issue, its a leverage imbalance issue. Its the same problem you face with "Terms of Service" agreements - you can't negotiate, so your choice is basically to accept this agreement or to not use the service. Suck it Facebook, I'm going to MySpace, which is still...terrible.
I'm glad this issue is getting some traction; its a problem whose scope exceeds copyright. As our day to day activities become more and more dependent on services based on contractual privileges rather than rights, they become far more fragile - aside from the obvious privacy issues, if your email or Facebook account is terminated, what can you really do? Not much. I think the termination would have to be extremely arbitrary for an arbitrator (likely mandated by the TOS of course) to find in your favor.
And good luck emailing everyone on your no longer accessible contact list to tell them your new address! (Especially if you are lazy like me and just search in gmail w/o making a formal contact list.)